Nikon Unleashes D500 DX-Format Flagship

Nikon Unleashes D500 DX-Format Flagship

D500 Debuts along with Nikon D5 FX-Format Professional DSLR

Nikon D500

Melville, NY—At CES 2016 in Las Vegas, Nikon unveiled the D500. The DX-format digital SLR offers pro-level features to give photographers responsive “handling, speed and extreme processing power in a compact and lightweight body.”

The D500 debuted alongside Nikon’s new flagship professional DSLR—the FX-format Nikon D5.

Like its sibling the D5, the D500 benefits from Nikon’s latest technologies. These include the totally new, fast Multi-CAM 20K 153-point autofocus (AF) system and 4K UHD video capture. It also features an easy way to share photos via built-in SnapBridge.

Nikon D500

“Nikon has answered the call from photographers to once again reinvent this camera category and offer an unmatched combination of performance and value that is hard for any photographer to resist,” said Masahiro Horie, director, Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. “When paired with the amazing imaging capabilities of legendary Nikkor optics, photographers can capture intimate portraits, mind-blowing macros or action from extreme distances—the possibilities are endless.”

The D500 is engineered to offer advanced enthusiasts and pro photographers the benefits of the DX-format. These include a smaller form factor and lens crop, combined with advanced pro features found in the Nikon D5. The D500 features an all-new 20.9 megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor that’s coupled with Nikon’s new Expeed 5 image processor. The processor is built to produce low noise and offer maximum processing power.

The more portable DX format offers advantages for applications like wildlife and sports photography, where telephoto ability is at a premium and weight reduction is welcome. For example, when used with the new AF-S Nikkor 200–500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens, the lightweight D500 offers a 350–750mm (equivalent) super-telephoto focal range.

Its sensor/processor combo also help deliver low-light performance. It has an ISO range of 100–51,200, which is expandable to a 50–1,640,000 equivalent. It’s also capable of continuous shooting at 10 frames per second (fps) with full AF and AE. And its enhanced buffer allows 79 shots (14-bit, uncompressed RAW/NEF) to be captured. Nikon-D500_backThe D500 is fitted with the same AF system as the D5—the Multi-CAM 20K AF sensor module, with a separate processor for AF function. On the DX-format sensor, the 153-point AF array fills the frame from side to side. This aids users in tracking and locking onto subjects from the edges of the viewfinder. And like the D5, the D500 utilizes the new 180K RGB metering system and an advanced scene recognition system to help ensure balanced exposures and true color rendition. Also provided is a tilting, 3.2-inch, 2,359K-dot, touch-screen LCD monitor.

Additionally, as with the D5, the D500 captures 4K UHD video (3,840×2,160) at up to 30p. It also records Full HD 1080p video at various frame rates. Pro video features include an uncompressed HDMI output, picture controls, the ability to create 4K time-lapse movies in-camera, and auto ISO smoothing to provide fluid transitions in exposure during recording. It can also record video to a memory card and output to HDMI simultaneously. When capturing Full HD content, the camera employs active D-lighting and a 3-axis electronic VR (vibration reduction) feature that can be activated regardless of the lens being used.

Other features include: an XQD card slot and an SD slot; weather sealing; a monocoque structured body composed of magnesium alloy for the top and rear; a shutter mechanism tested for 200K actuations; and a pop-up flash plus compatibility with Nikon’s newest radio-frequency-capable flash, the SB-5000 Speedlight (with optional WR-R10 & WR-A10).

Nikon’s SnapBridge with Wi-Fi and Near Field Communication (NFC) connectivity plus Bluetooth supports connection between the camera and a smart device for automatic uploading of images. Once enabled, the camera stays connected to the smart device and transfers photos. Those looking to share images on the go can tag images for transfer in-camera and password-protect their connection. The D500 is also compatible with the optional WT-7A wireless transmitter. The WT-7A enables transmission of files to an FTP server or computer at faster speeds.

Nikon D500 Availability

The Nikon D500 will be available in March 2016 for a suggested retail price of $1,999.95 body only. A kit will be available with the AF-S DX Nikkor 16–80mm f/3.5–5.6 G ED VR lens for $3,069.95. The MB-D17 battery pack will be offered in March for $449.95; it’s designed to extended battery life and facilitate vertical shooting. The WT-7A wireless transmitter also ships in March for $934.95.